Top takeaways from FargoConnect 2014


Everything seems more in focus now. Brighter. Even a little glow around the edges.

That’s how one of the 500+ people who joined us for FargoConnect explains the day after the big event, and we agree. Beyond strategic insights, proven approaches and tactics, plus best practices guidance from a full stable of experts, here are some of the other takeaways we heard most often:

Ice is hot. (Censorship is not.)

Two surprise speakers shared their social media stories:

Jennifer Hjelle, executive director of The ALS Association, MN/ND/SD Chapter, explained what it’s been like as millions of dollars pour in due to millions of people pouring ice water over their heads in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Duff Watson, an enterprise account executive at ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, noted that companies must educate all their employees about the impact of social media. Watson Tweeted a complaint about a rude Southwest Airlines gate agent and was then asked to deplane and delete his Tweet. Of course, the ‘deleted’ Tweet was already captured by others.

What your mom thinks matters.

Real Truck CEO Scott Bintz shared his social media experiences along with a humble musing for someone to snap a shot of him on stage for his mom. Her charming response:Tweet from Scott Bintz's mom saying she is proud of her son for being on the big screen at FargoConnect

Forget amazing.

As keynote speaker Jay Baer noted, we ought to stop trying to be amazing, and just be useful. Like a Canadian taxi driver who distributes handouts of top restaurants and nightlife spots. Or the Hilton Suggests Twitter approach, where employees respond to Tweets for info about city attractions (most of which have nothing to do with lodging). Helping people navigate and have fun? Now that’s amazing.

Speaking of helping …

FargoConnect proudly featured social media case studies of two difference-making nonprofit organizations in the Fargo area:

#ImThriving – The use of hashtags is promoting mental health awareness among teenagers for Imagine Thriving, a community action project of the Stephanie Goetz Mental Wellness Initiative.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley – This home away from home for families undergoing medical care uses social media to further build its powerfully healthy community.

People like people.

Flint Group Social Media Lead Libby Hall shared the latest in social media, including the powerful advice that people (read: your customers, your prospects, your potential business partners) use social media to connect with people. Not brands. Not logos. Not even a promotion or coupon. So, in social media, act human. That will attract the people you’d like to reach.

Stay inspired.

If you joined us, thank you. If you weren’t able to come this year, check out #FargoConnect on Twitter to learn others’ impressions and view news stories. You can also download social takeaways from the event:

Social media strategy worksheet (pdf)

3 Steps to claim your name on social networks (pdf)

Social media sizing worksheet (pdf)

We’ll keep sharing inspiration on the FargoConnect Facebook group, including the first news of FargoConnect 2015.

Now, go make more connections!

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